Dubbed the Astra, it is being built for the Sandia National Laboratories and the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA will use the supercomputer to run advanced modelling and simulation workloads for things like national security, energy, science and health care.
HPE is involved in building other ARM-based supercomputing installations, but when Astra is delivered later this year, "it will hands down be the world's largest ARM-based supercomputer ever built".
Mike Vildibill, VP of Advanced Technologies Group at HPE , told ZDNET that the HPC system is comprised of 5,184 ARM-based processors -- the Thunder X2 processor, built by Cavium. Each processor has 28 cores and runs at 2 GHz. Astra will deliver over 2.3 theoretical peak petaflops of performance, which should put it well within the top 100 supercomputers ever built -- a milestone for an ARM-based machine.
James Laros of Sandia National Laboratories said in a statement that the lab is collaborating with HPE to advance the ARM ecosystem "and prove the viability of this architecture to support our national security mission".
Astra will run on the HPE Apollo 70. HPE is also delivering a power efficient liquid cooling system, called the MCS-300 cooling unit, that is more efficient than traditional air cooled solutions. It's also providing an optimised storage solution that offers an all-flash Lustre filesystem for extreme bandwidth and reduced latency on data access. This parallel file system allows all processors to access the same file simultaneously.